WINTER IS HERE! PREPARE. PROTECT. PREVENT.
As temperatures drop there are many things to consider in how you manage your home. With heavy rains and freezing temperatures, this check list will help you prepare, protect, and prevent potential damage to your home.
Drains, Gutters, Downspouts
Winter comes after fall, some might say the two intertwine for a period of time. Regardless, fall creates a lot of debris that often creates blockages in our drains, gutters, and downspouts. This is one way outside water finds its way into our homes because it does not have a proper path to flow out and away. Be sure to clear any debris and check for any cracks or other damage. You want to make sure these systems can properly do their job to protect your home in leading all water away from the structure.
Exterior Inspection: Roof, Siding, Faucet's, and Tree's
Protecting your home from winters mayhem starts with an evaluation of the exterior of your home and the surrounding factors. Think of it as your first defense when it comes to winter. Your roof and siding take the blunt force of winter at its best. Be sure to check the shingles on your roof, look for cracked, damaged, loose, or missing ones. This will prevent moisture from finding its way in or giving heat a way out. Shingle repair is far more affordable than an entire roof replacement. Do the same for the siding on your house. Again, repairs on both are easier and more cost efficient than the damage that could occur as a result of not checking.
It is also very important to remove any hoses connected to exterior faucets and get those covered for the winter to prevent freezing and any damage that could occur from that. Lastly, do a quick evaluation of the trees surrounding your home. All the inspections and preventive measures mean nothing if a branch falls right through your roof.
Preparing for the Freeze Inside
While the exterior of your home is your primary defense, there are many things to consider inside as well. Frozen pipes can cause thousands of dollars in damage to a single home. Take time to insulate your pipes or check existing insulation and look for any leaks. One way to prevent pipes from freezing is to let the water drip when temperatures plummet.
Next you want to check all doors and windows. You want the cold to stay out and the heat to stay in. This can help with costs for heating in the winter. Caulking is great and inexpensive way to seal any leaks. Shrink film is another great inexpensive solution to keeping the cold out. Both are available at your local hardware store.
Another thing to keep in mind is issues with heating equipment can cause a buildup of Carbon Monoxide in the home. Carbon Monoxide is known as the silent killer because it is virtually undetectable without a detector, sharing the same symptoms as the common flu. So be sure to get one for your home or test and replace the batteries frequently if you already have one. With that being said, its a good time to have your heating system serviced, this should be done annually.